MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – For the upcoming budget year, the City of Myrtle Beach is looking to hire a security specialist to better protect your information online. 

According to Mark Kruea with the City of Myrtle Beach, this position would fall under the Information Services department, and they would be responsible for things like training staff on recognizing and fighting cyber threats. 

Kruea said because people are doing more online and the city is growing quickly, they need to take extra steps to protect your information; things like debit or credit cards from paying online, financial records, or utility bills. 

“There are governments that have been blackmailed,” said Kruea. “Their computer information has been hacked and they’ve had to pay a blackmail to get their information released, so we want to avoid that at all costs.”  

He said right now there are seven people in the Information Services department who have a hand in keeping your online information safe. This new position would designate one person to focus only on cybersecurity. “We’d like to have a dedicated person to take care of those things who will be specifically responsible for making sure we are up to the minute in terms of our data protection,” said Kruea. 

The request for this position was submitted in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, though it is unclear how much the city is asking for. The budget has not yet been approved, but Kruea said it is likely the budget will have first reading in late May. It requires two readings before it is passed, and it must be approved by July 1. Kruea said if the security specialist position passes, it should take about two months to bring someone on staff.